Rabbi says God will strike down Sharon

Wednesday, March 09, 2005 | 
One of Israel’s most influential rabbis has set off a storm by describing Prime Minister Ariel Sharon as the “evil one" who is dismantling settlements in the Gaza Strip. "How cruel is this evil one who does such things," said Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, spiritual leader of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party, without mentioning Sharon by name. "The Holy One wants us all to return to the Torah, and then he will strike him with one blow and he will die. He will sleep and never wake up." The comments brought demands from parliamentarians for the rabbi to be investigated for incitement. "He hates Israel, hates the Arabs, incites and calls on heaven to strike down the Prime Minister," Ronny Brizon of the anti-religious Shinui party told Israel Radio. “It’s unbelievable.”

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